Spencer Elementary model for school improvement

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Reforming failing Chicago schools has long been a topic of controversy, often resulting in outside intervention and overhaul.

But over the last five years, one Austin elementary has been quietly making strides, proof that despite barriers, positive change is possible.

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lauren FitzPatrick visited Spencer Elementary Technology Academy, 214 N. Lavergne Ave., when classes started at the Track E school last month. According to her report, just 20-some percent students were performing at grade level 10 years ago. By 2007 it had jumped to 45 percent when Principal Shawn L. Jackson was hired, and the number has continued to rise since.

While many give Jackson credit for the success, he told FitzPatrick the community has played a significant role.

“There are no successful schools without parental involvement,” Jackson said.

To read the entire Chicago Sun-Times piece, click here.


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